Apple and Mango Flapjack

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I was experimenting, based on my previous flapjacks. This was nice and simple, merely melting butter and mixing that with mashed banana, chopped fruits and nuts and oats and baking for about twenty minutes. Apparently it worked. Certainly it’s tastier than muesli, so I reckon it’d make a good breakfast.

I didn’t start off with the idea of apple and mango. I wanted to make more flapjack. Since I needed to get more oats, I pottered to the dried fruits section to have a look. Always a mistake. Fortunately, though, the majority were sweetened, so they were ruled out. The mango, though, was fine. So that went into the basket. Since the other dried fruits were out-of-bounds, and apple and mango go well together, it was decided that chopped apple would be added.

So. Butter melted over a medium heat while the various fruits were being chopped or mashed. Chopped mixed nuts were chucked in as an afterthought. One of those “Yeah, that’d work, why not?” thoughts. So in they went. Then the butter, now a yellow pool, and oats. All was thoroughly stirred and dolloped into a lined baking tray. Into the oven for about twenty minutes.

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It came out smelling like a crumble.

And tomorrow I get to eat sugar again (Church counting ends Lent on Good Friday: count the days (but not Sundays!) if you don’t believe me!). Normally I go to Easter Sunday, but my mother makes the best hot cross buns in the world, and she only makes them on Good Friday. So it’s stop ‘early’ or miss out. I’d rather stop early…

Apple and Cinnamon Chocolate

Apple and Cinnamon Chocolate

Today, I figured that I needed a chocolate which was less bitter than the dark stuff I made last week. The cacao liquor gave an almost overpowering taste. I thought this time I would go all the way to the other extreme, to the chocolate which some people say isn’t really chocolate. To White Chocolate.
Normally, white chocolate is largely sugar and milk. I can’t have the sugar, so mine will be mostly cream (double; I rarely do such things by half) and cacao butter. Since we still have some of the apple juice left over from the flapjacks, I add a splish of that too. It all goes into a saucepan over a low heat to melt and mix together. I add a generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon as well. The butter melts and it all gets well and truly stirred. I pour the mixture into my well-used moulds and leave it to set on the side.
Turns out, I may have used a tad too much liquid. The chocolates don’t fully set. They are, in fact, slightly crumbly, but quite creamy. A bit like the cream cheese that my mother used to make. But tasty. I prefer it to the dark chocolate I made last week, I must say. Next time, I must remember to use less cream and juice. Now if only I knew precisely how much I used this time….!

Sugar-Free Apple Flapjacks

Sugar-Free Apple Flapjacks

I was hunting recipes the other day. I needed something sweet, but without sugar or other sweeteners because of my Lenten fast from such things. This is usually all well and good (I’m not having any cravings or anything) except for that moment in the month which all women have because of hormones. My friend and I went on a hunt and we found this…It’s really good. Really good. And smells fantastic while you cook it.
Ingredients – I think we made about a dozen with this…
• 3 apples, cored and chopped – we used Bramleys
• 100% pressed apple juice – enough to cover the apple pieces in a saucepan. Half a litre, maybe…
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon – meh. Just sprinkle as much as you like in.
• 2cm piece fresh root ginger, grated – or more, if you like ginger.
• 250g whole rolled oats
• 30g sunflower seeds – we skipped these. We used more raisins instead…
• 160g raisins
Preparation method
Oven: 180C/Gas 4; decent sized lined greased tin.

Slice and core the apple , but leave the skin on for a good source of pectin. Place the apples in a pan with the juice and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Puree in a food processor or with a hand-held mixer. We didn’t find this necessary. If the apple is properly stewed it should be nice and mushy anyway, in which case smoosh it a bit more with the wooden spoon you were stirring it with and it’ll be fine.
Stir the grated ginger, cinnamon, oats, sunflower seeds and raisins into the apple puree and mix well, then tip it into the tin and spread out evenly.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until firm and golden brown. Cool slightly, cut into wedges then leave the flapjacks to cool completely in the tin. Or, if like us you can’t wait that long, give it about 15 minutes (enough time to finish the washing up and stick the kettle on), scoop some out into a bowl (it’ll fall apart) and add some yogurt/sour cream/double cream/ice cream/whatever and enjoy!
Substitution
Other healthy alternatives include swapping the raisins for dried cranberries. Or when making the puree swap the apples for prunes.